Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight Author(s): Clifford Geertz Source: Daedalus, Vol. Ingarden - The work of music and the problem of its identity. pdf. clifford geertz: play: notes on the balinese summary and review to start form the bottom line, clifford essential notion expressed in play: notes on the. Lacan, of Clifford Geertz's Deep Play. Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. Keywords : anthropology; psychoanalysis; cultural unconscious; cockfight.
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Further reproduction prohibited without permission. Deep play: notes on the Balinese cockfight. Clifford Geertz. Daedalus; Fall ; , 4; Research Library . GEERTZ. Deep Play: Notes on the Balinese Cockfight. The Raid. Early in. April of , my wife and I arrived, malarial and diffident, in a. Balinese village we. This reading alerts us that Americans hold no monopoly on popular culture. Geertz relates both the various events surrounding and the deeper cultural meaning.
Considered Geertz's most seminal work, the essay addresses the meaning of cockfighting in Balinese culture. Example of a cockfight in Bali circa Cockfights were generally illegal in Indonesia when Geertz was doing his fieldwork there in the s. The first cockfight that he and his wife viewed was broken up by the police. The experience of hiding from the police in the courtyard of a local couple allowed Geertz to break the tension between himself and the villagers, and perform all of the interviews and observation which make up The Interpretation of Cultures. The essay describes how cocks are taken to stand in for powerful men in the villages, and notes that even the double-entendre sense of the word "cock" exists in the Balinese language as much as in English. The title of the essay is explained as a concept of British philosopher Jeremy Bentham — , who defines "deep play" as a game with stakes so high that no rational person would engage in it.
My earlier comment got cut short because I had to leave suddenly, but I had wanted to point out something else. For Geertz, culture is mainly psychological and personal. The idea of culture as a set of symbols that we share back and forth seems almost custom-designed to avoid the kinds of political economic analysis Rola and myself would like to see. The only place power comes into play in this formulation is in who has access to particular symbols. To come round full circle, it may be worth remembering the material and political conditions of fieldwork in the s, 60s and 70s.
The native is not the only one affected by this context.
Think Cold War, Vietnam War, anti-colonial struggles, rampant and sometimes justified suspicion that anthropologists were CIA agents up to God knows what. In Taiwan, when Ruth and I were doing fieldwork in , the first thing we did when arriving in Puli was report to the foreign affairs policeman who seemed, in fact, a very pleasant person…but anyway.
It was, moreover, still possible for people who talked too openly about certain topics to get a knock on the door in the middle of the night.
Doing fieldwork in Taiwan in those years meant, among other things, being constantly aware that certain topics were off-limits.
John McCreery says: May 29, at pm For Geertz, culture is mainly psychological and personal. Much as I respect oneman, this is just plain wrong. And that famous holiday Day of Silence Njepi , when everyone sits silent and immobile all day long in order to avoid con a sudden tact with influx of demons out of hell, is chased momentarily the case this in preceded previous day by large-scale cockfights legal in almost every on the island.
Or that a man who has lost an important is sometimes to driven wreck fight an act of his family shrines and curse the and social gods, metaphysical suicide. Or that in seeking earthly for heaven and hell the Bali analogues nese compare the former to the mood of a man whose cock has just won, the latter to that of a man whose cock has just lost.
The of cocks and cockfighting Powers with of Darkness. Usually they begin a hours until sunset. About nine or ten separate matches sehet comprise is in Each match the like others there program.
After arranged completely a has and the is ended emotional debris bets paid, cleaned away? Those not involved give it at best dissembling immediately but disguised, those who, are, attempt attention; sidelong embarrassedly, is not really happening. This is a delicate job sharp, pointed or so in most a small of men, a half-dozen which villages, only proportion the spurs also provides know how to do properly.
The man who attaches owner wins its rooster him the assists if he awards and the them, spur-leg a are victim. The affixed of the spurs by winding long length of string around the foot of the spur and the leg of the cock. For reasons I shall come it is done somewhat to from case to case, and is an differently presently, are lore about spurs is extensive?
The obsessively at and the dark of the moon, should be kept out only eclipses sharpened and so forth. And they are handled, both in use and of the sight of women, and sensuality the of fussiness combination the same curious out, with Balinese direct toward ritual objects generally. During and end by the beating marked beginning are to not touch handlers the seconds pengangkeb twenty-one permitted the animals have not fought during their roosters.
If, as sometimes happens, in and otherwise this time, they are picked up, fluffed, pulled, prodded, the center in the the and of sulted, and put back process begins again. Within abstract, concept drives home a solid blow with his spur. The handler whose cock has de livered the blow so a return it not that it will up immediately picks get is a to in tie mortal end blow, for if he does not the match likely mutually as the two birds true hack each to other is This wildly pieces.
The coconut is then sunk twice more and over two minutes, the handler of the slightly a cock has been over it, like a trainer working frantically patching mauled boxer between for rounds, to get it in shape for a last, desperate try the whole chicken head in his own victory.
He blows in its mouth, putting mouth and sucking and blowing, fluffs it, stuffs its wounds with various sorts of medicines, and generally tries can think of to arouse the last anything he ounce of which be hidden it.
By the time he is somewhere within may spirit forced to put it back down he is in chicken blood, but, as usually drenched in prize a is worth his in good handler fighting, weight gold. Some of them can virtually make the dead walk, at least long enough for the second and final round.
If the wounded one can get a stab in and stagger on until the other is the official winner, even if he himself drops, he topples over an instant later.
At a fight, the umpire saja man who manages in charge the coconut? Only the complexity of the code, solid, and, given well-trusted, exceptionally men will citizens in this fact and job, bring their knowledgeable perform to over men. It is also the umpire cocks only to fights presided such by occa rare in the extreme, accusations whom of cheating, which, though cases are referred; and it is he who in the not sionally arise, infrequent where the cocks expire virtually decides which for, if either, together not care for such an outcome, there can be ties the do Balinese though a a a went first.
Likened to a he is all of priest, and policeman, judge, king, the animal passion of the fight pro these, and under his assured direction I saw ceeds within the civic certainty of the law.
In the dozens of cockfights in Bali, I never once saw an altercation about rules.
Indeed, I never saw an cocks, at all. They take their form from the situation continuous as are Goffman evokes them, the floor on which puts it; but it they placed, an is a form, and For the situation, the floor is articulate one, nonetheless. Bringing societal of explicitly staging cockfight an adult male, a an duty of citizenship; important fight was, for compulsory was a major taxation of fights, which were usually held on market day, of was a source of art the stated of responsibility public revenue; patronage or in center the the of the and stood cock ring, wantilan, princes; village the near those other monuments of Balinese council house, civility?